First of all, my thanks go out to the very lovely Kate Michael for inviting me to participate on this tour! I met Kate on Twitter when we started talking to each other about books and writing, and I absolutely adore her. If you visit her blog, you can see some of the fantastic things she's working on, which range from dark fantasy to the hot contemporary romance that she describes as part of her post for this tour. I cannot wait to read these stories!
What am I currently working on?
I'm working on three things right now -- yesssss, I'm that crazy. First priority is the third and final book of my urban fantasy Mythology series, THE ETERNAL. I owe Micah, Hope, and Jonathan the closure to their story, and that happily ever that they deserve after all of the world-shaking crises that happened in book one and two *whistles innocently*.
I'm also working on the second book of my New Adult contemporary romance series, GOING FOR BROKE, which features the spunky rocker chick Elle Vincent Garcia, who was introduced in book one (LOSING ENOUGH) and her very dark love interest, Jase Moretti. And finally, I'm working on a Dark YA Dystopian short story that will be part of a Christmas anthology to be released later this year.
One of these nights, I'll actually get a good night's sleep. Maybe.
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How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It's always hard for me to evaluate my work in comparison to others, but reviewers have commented before that my stories aren't cookie-cutter. Character development is huge for me, and I like to craft people who are strong but flawed, regardless of genre. I also like to pose challenges to my characters that are unique (and by unique, I mean evil).
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Why do I write what I write?
I tend to write dark things because it's a way of expressing the darkness we all experience in our lives in some form or another. However, counterbalancing that is my love for a good romance and great fondness for a happily-ever-after... I just make my characters really, really work hard for that HEA, but it will happen. Eventually. :)
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How does my individual writing process work?
I'm a tried-and-true pantser, writing very slowly and by the seat of my pants. Sometimes this means going back and layering in an entire subplot after the first (or second) draft is done or scrapping the story about a third of the way through because it's not working and starting from scratch. Sure, I realize this isn't that efficient and yes, I've tried outlining and writing by synopsis. But honestly, some of my best ideas come to me as I'm writing or even during the early revision process, and I love how it all comes together like that. Also, I've discovered that Iove LOVE LOVE to write alternate points of view, and to do this, I have to channel the character and really get him or her into my head. I use playlists (Spotify) and visual character inspiration (Pinterest) to get me going on these. It's a process, it's not easy, and it can even be painful at times, but ultimately, it comes down to just sitting down at my laptop and hitting the keys until I get it down. :)
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And now, to tag some friends!
Christianna Marks. Christianna is one of my writer pals and in addition to being a fabulous writer, is an avid YA book reviewer and blogger and music blogger. She is currently writing a YA high fantasy, a YA dystopian story for the anthology that I mentioned above, and several other secret projects because she is that amazing. Christianna's namesake also appears in my novel THE WICKED, and she has informed me that she appreciated having page time with my character Jonathan. ;)
I was invited by my friend, author Skye Malone to participate in this blog hop in which I introduce one of my main characters and answer a few questions about him. Thanks to Skye for the invitation! You can read more about her character and YA novel in the links below and check out her website. As always, thank you for visiting!
For my post I'll be highlighting one of the characters from my Mythology series. Book one and two of the series feature main characters Hope and Micah on the covers....
... so I thought it only fitting to feature the third character that will be on the cover of book three of the Mythology series, MYTHOLOGY: THE ETERNAL. Please meet Jonathan Draper.
(Fanart created by Megan Elliott)
Check out these other cool posts from this blog hop:
Author Skye Malone introduces her character Chloe Kowalski from her novel Awaken. If you enjoy YA paranormal, this is a great read that's currently for sale for 99 cents on Amazon. Highly recommended!
Author Elsie Elmore introduces her character Eric from her upcoming debut release The Undead: Playing for Keeps. This looks like a great read, and if you want to check it out further, you can read about it on Goodreads.
And I tagged...
Author Danielle Young, who introduces her character Jo from her new release Guided! This YA book is full of magic, witches, and warlocks and is currently FREE on Amazon until July 24th (it will be 99 cents after that). This is on my to-read list!
Available this September, BETWEEN THE STARS AND SKY is a vivid contemporary novel from my dear friend and Young Adult author David James. So excited for this one. Check out the beauty...
SYNOPSIS: In the small, lakeside town of Huntington, the Firelight Festival marks the end of summer. A time to laugh, to live, to love. And for Jackson Grant, it is a chance to begin again.
But there is a darker side to the Firelight Festival, a deadly tradition known as the Firelight Fall. A secret game. A legendary lie. A test of bravery. Those who fall risk everything, and Jackson is on the edge. Until he meets a girl who pushes him over.
For Jackson, falling for Sarah Blake might be as dangerous as jumping in the Firelight Fall. As summer burns away, Jackson and Sarah ignite an unstoppable love game. For her, his heart is on fire. And soon, Sarah shows him life, saves him from loss, and opens his heart to an infinite and wild love found between the stars and sky.
COMING SEPTEMBER 2014
FIND THE PLACE WHERE LOVE IS INFINITE
David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, THE WITCH'S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, was released July 2013, and includes the exclusive novella, THE ENCHANTER'S FIRE. The final book in the duet, SHADOW OF THE SUN, will be released in 2015. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. David enjoys bad movies, goofy moments, and shivery nights. Visit David’s blog at djamesauthor.blogspot.com and facebook at facebook.com/djamesauthor to learn more about his novels.
Today I'm very happy to host the cover reveal of my friend Kai Kiriyama's special edition of BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON! I'm also featuring a special excerpt and an interview with Kai herself.
If you like pulpy noir mysteries, this book will be released on August 5, 2014. Purchase links will be posted primarily on Kai's website: www.theraggedyauthor.com.
Here it is! And as always, thanks for visiting <3
BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON is a pulpy noir set in a futuristic New York. The oil and technology market crashed in the mid-2000′s and the world has developed into a technologically advanced form of SteamPunk. Body modification has become commonplace with rebellious teenagers, but this time, it’s literal. Clockwork body parts are touted as a medical miracle by the companies who make them, and high fashion by the stars who sport them, and a lot of kids go through illegal surgeries. The sub-culture of Gearheads is full of kids with robotic body parts from poorly done surgery in less-than-sanitary conditions, and these are surgeries that don’t always take.
Blaze Tuesday is New York's most accomplished private investigator. A former police officer with a bone to pick with the corruption in the city, he's earned a name for himself as a guy who gets results, and who is willing to uphold the moral values so many others have forgotten, even if he has to break a few faces to do it.
Blaze is hired by Wayside Firms, one of the medical firms that produces the Clockwork, when a charity doctor who worked specifically with less-fortunate kids who have had botched illegal, is found murdered. As Blaze investigates the unfortunate death, he discovers a conspiracy that stretches from the lowest gutters in Hell’s Kitchen, to the highest corporate fat cats at the medical firms who create the Clockwork body parts.
Can Blaze get justice for the dead doctor, and bring some hope back to the kids in Hell's Kitchen who were counting on the Doctor's help? Or will he get caught up in the underworld of body modification and the big money it brings in?
I was on my way to Hell's Kitchen. I had taken a cab to the edge of the district and my cabbie refused to take me any further. Not even the offer to triple my fare was enough to convince him. What a pussy. I'd been in and out of Hell's Kitchen all my life, and I didn't even have a clockwork implant to show for it. Thankfully.
Q: Hi, Kai! Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I'm excited to help share this awesome special edition of Blaze Tuesday and the case of the Knight Surgeon! Let's start with the main character of the story. Could you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to create Blaze?
A: Blaze came about because I decided that I wanted to write a noir. He was born during NaNoWriMo in 2012, and I haven't been able to get rid of him since! I wanted him to have a really cliched name, and there was a line from an old cartoon show (Anyone else remember Bonkers?) where he was being a PI and proclaimed, "My name is Tuesday, it was a Wednesday and I was eating a Sundae" and that kind of stuck forever with me and voila, I got the name Tuesday.
Q: If Blaze could pick a quote from his story that best describes his personality, what would it be?
A: "Modesty was my biggest virtue... Sarcasm was probably my biggest flaw."
Q: What do you see for Blaze's future? Is this book part one of a series?
A: This is book one of a series. I currently have four books planned with the possibility of a fifth, depending on how long it takes me to get through the current storyline. Depending on that, I might write a secondary arc, but we'll see. I have a ongoing serial that ties into the current world on my blog that I intend to keep up until December 2014 at least, and we'll see where it goes from there.. The serial will tie into at least the first two novels, and the special edition bonus story is an exclusive tie-in that I likely won't release elsewhere. I'd really like to write a comic series for him, but that's all dependent on how well-received he is when we comes out, you know?
Q: What were some of your favorite books when you were a child? Teenager? Recently?
A: Island of the Blue Dolphins was big for me as a child and into my early teen years. Then it was Harry Potter, Dracula, Frankenstein, Hamlet and the Vampire Chronicles, because really, who doesn't love Lestat? Interview with the Vampire is still one of my all-time favourites. Currently, I'm digging Mira Grant's Newsflesh series, Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld, even though I've read all but the newest one. Stephen King's Dark Tower series is a very important series to me. It really stuck with me (I think it's time for a re-read!) And Neil Gaiman is always relevant. I could ramble for ages about the awesome books I've been reading lately but basically, just go look at the Orbit books publication
list and pick from there, I'm sure you'll find something that I've read and loved and that you'll love too.
Q: Are there any authors that currently inspire you?
A: Seanan McGuire is a huge inspiration. She's the only person I've ever become aware of (we haven't met outside of Twitter, alas) who works as well as I do on rigid schedules and writes in quantities that I'm jealous of. I typically pull off 10k word days and think nothing of it, but I mean, she wrote a whole book in a day. Her typing speed is something like 160 WPM, and she's something like 7 months ahead of all of her deadlines. Stephen Blackmoore has this awesome noir wizard who is a gritty version of Dresden and I'm completely in love with him. His writing makes me want to get darker and really push my comfort zone. This is another one of those questions that I could ramble for hours about and if you ask me tomorrow my answer would probably be different. It's true, though, you have to read widely to get better at your craft!
Q: If you could pick any place in the world to write, where would it be?
A: Stonehenge. I'd like to just sit against one of those old stones and listen until the words flow. Or Bag-End. I love that Hobbit hole. *dreamy sigh* Barring that, I'd like to have a cottage in the countryside of Wales, a farm where there's no one to interrupt me.
Q: Choose three adjectives to describe your writing process in general:
A: Spastic, abnormal and anal-retentive.
Q: Do you write with music, and if so, what would you say your most-played song was when you wrote this book?
A: I typically don't write with music. I tend to work better in silence. Sometimes I turn on the Baroque radio station on my TV, but Blaze was written mostly at night, in silence during NaNoWriMo fuelled by migraines
and too much caffeine.
Q: What can we expect from Kai Kiriyama in the future?
A: One day I will mutate into a scary hybrid author! Actually, you can expect more Blaze and I've got a few projects up my sleeves that I'm not ready to talk about yet. I'm still debating between releasing other projects I've done as a self-publisher or if I'm going to try taking them the traditional route. I can say that there is a lot of Shakespearean influence in these projects, some angry gods, some faeries, psychic powers, superheroes and voodoo.
Helen: Thank you for letting me be part of your cover reveal, and congratulations on your upcoming release!
Kai: No thank you for having me! This was awesome, and I'm so excited to share
Blaze with the world!
About Kai Kiriyama:
A writer of many things and many genres, Kai is currently working on a novel (you can pretty much always assume that she's writing something!) that involves murder, mayhem and probably a ghost or some other form of otherworldly creature. She is also working on some non-fiction but she's not entirely sure why.
Kai has been writing for far too long and she's convinced that both her "to be read" and "to be written" lists will never be completed before she dies. She has a diploma in palmistry and can read hands with an accuracy that scares even her sometimes. She is also accomplished at tea leaf reading and crystal divination, both of which she has also achieved a diploma for and scares herself with the accuracy of the things she has predicted.
A time-travelling, demon hunting, Asgardian geek, with an affinity for Pokemon and Shakespeare, you can be sure that there will be general insanity and dubious wisdom dispensed no matter where you chat with her. As always, she requests that you "be excellent to each other" while she's away.
Kai currently lives in Canada, but if she told you where, you'd have about fifteen seconds to assume the party position before the special ops team arrives.
She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I need to preface this release day post by saying that I LOVE the Untamed series by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green - if you like to read contemporary romance, I highly recommend to you these novellas because they are amazing. So amazing that I (a normally pokey reader) have gobbled these up like chocolate as soon as I get my hands on them.
Second, I love Jinsey and Victoria because they are lovely people.
Third, I love Dare Wilde because he's Dare Wilde.
Fourth, novella one of the series is FREE! <3
Synopsis (series spoiler warning since this is the fourth book):
WILD AT HEART (Untamed #4)
With his dad hell-bent on destroying him, Dare's life hangs in the balance. Fearing the worst, Reagan rushes from Paris to New York, hoping to get to him in time, only to find their entire world collapsing around them.
The threat is too real, risk too high, death too possible. Unfair doesn't even begin to cover it.
Two wild hearts that belong together, trapped in a world trying to break them apart. But a love this strong has to survive...doesn't it?
Episode 4 of 5
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes (coming soon!)
Untamed (Untamed #1) is still 100% FREE on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes!
It would be so lovely if you could please help spread the word about the series by telling your friends to pick it up and give it a try! :)
FOLLOW THE SERIES:
Series Blog: http://thebrotherswilde.blogspot.ca
Series Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/125281-untamed
Books 1-4 are currently out and the authors are working on the big finale (Book 5 which will be out on August 12th). Jinsey and Victoria will also be releasing a series omnibus for readers who love to marathon their 200k+ word reads.
FOLLOW THE AUTHORS:
Tors Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriagreenauthor
Jins Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JinseyReese
Jins Twitter: https://twitter.com/jinseyreese
Tors Twitter: https://twitter.com/vg_writes
Wherein Helen posts about news, book releases, cover reveals, and other writerly happenings from the bookish world.
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